Virginia Tech has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for its best practices in campus community forestry through its new Tree City USA program.

To celebrate this achievement, the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota will hold a tree-planting event tomorrow Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. near The Inn at Virginia Tech, Skelton Conference Center, and the Holtzman Alumni Center overlooking the pond to officially kick off Tree Campus USA.

Eight other college campuses across the United States will also be recognized this fall for their efforts.

Tree Campus USA, a new program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation, honors college campuses and the leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

Virginia Tech met the required five core standards of tree care and community engagement in order to receive Tree Campus USA status. Those standards are establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

“The Tree Campus USA program will have a lasting effect at Virginia Tech and throughout the country because it will engage students and local citizens to plants trees and create healthier communities for people to enjoy for generations to come,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Virginia Tech will benefit from better tree-care practices on campus, and it will help connect the university with tree-care professionals in their community to improve the tree canopy in Blacksburg.”

A total of 100 trees will be planted in various locations in Virginia Tech’s campus.

The plantings will take place during Virginia Tech’s Sustainability Week. The trees will provide shade and a welcoming atmosphere near the alumni center, which was built in 2005.

“Trees are a critical component of the Virginia Tech campus,” said Eric Wiseman, chairman of the Virginia Tech Arboretum Committee. “We value their aesthetic and environmental contributions to the community. The Campus Tree Tour is an opportunity to celebrate trees and demonstrate our commitment to a sustainable urban forest.”

“We are so proud to support Tree Campus USA on both a national and local level,” said Christina Mullen, manager, technical and regulatory affairs, safety, of Toyota Motor North America. “We have a long relationship with Virginia Tech and we are glad that the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized this fine member of our community.”

Tree Campus USA’s kickoff events will also plant trees at the University of Michigan, University of Texas, Arizona State, Oregon State, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska, the University of California-San Diego, and Jackson State in Mississippi. A total of nearly 1,000 trees will be planted during the Tree Campus USA events.


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